You Aren’t Talented. Work Harder.

Are You Talented?


You aren’t. You might be good at something, you might even be great at it but you aren’t talented.

This can (and usually is) taken as a kind of insult, and i understand that. Being talented is considered a good thing and someone telling you that you’re not can be seen as harsh, rude, unfair etc.

But it isn’t rude it is a liberating thing to say, it’s a compliment (you’re welcome). If you are good at something then attributing your ability to “being talented” is a massive disregard for any effort you have put in.

“This is something relevant to me – I’m always called talented. But i’m not!”IMG_4021

So many times i have been told that i am talented at taekwondo and when i was younger i used to take it as a compliment but i got to thinking about it. When i was younger i was just a fun loving little boy, it took me over one year to take my first grading (test) and took me a very long time to achieve my black belt. I was never super fit or super fast, i just made steady progress and always had fun and, surprise, got better and better.

I wasn’t talented then, but now when people watch me the say i am lucky to be so talented or they wish they had this talent and i make a point of it to tell people that i am not a talented person – nothing special about me that makes me be able to kick high other than the fact that i trained a lot.

IMG_4514Talent is used as a compliment (so thanks i guess), but it massively undermines the effect of hard work. And it’s not just for martial arts (although in my case it is), anything that people focus on. Great people didn’t get to being great because of talent (i do understand people are shorter and taller etc.) but they get there due to a massive amount of dedication.


“Tall, short, old, young, fat, thin: forget ‘talent’ and accept the hard work.”

IMG_3994So, forget about the word talent – don’t look for what you are good at. Pick something, and work until you are good at it, and then work a bit more until you are great at it. Go into everything knowing that it will take hard work to achieve you potential (no matter what level you start at.)

I notice the longer i had been training for the more i got called talented, but i think that creates a separation between someone at a high level and somebody who isn’t.

We all start at the beginning and have to work through to where we want to go. Don’t compare or judge yourself and others – just keep your head down, keep ambition in your mind, grit your teeth and stick to the grind.

Improve your imperfections so much until people think you were just born with a talent for what you do!

All images provided by Titan Academy –

Master Luke Robinson


5 thoughts on “You Aren’t Talented. Work Harder.

  1. I wanted to say something to my young nieces and nephews but still haven’t and it was something along the lines of “Would you rather have all the talent in the world and no heart.” or “Little talent with all the heart in the world.” The point was that all through your life, especially when you’re young, you’ll see people with talent that can pick up skills faster than you, that certain things will become instinctive or intuitive in a shorter time frame. But at some point, even the most talented people have to start working hard and at that point they can give up and stop because they’re unacustomed to not being able to grasp something instantly. In that way, it’s always possible for someone who works hard to surpass someone with all the talent in the world. A lot of things come into play too, external factors like support from people who love you – your environment – if you get drawn into the wrong crowd but I liked your words. People say “talent” but they don’t see the hard work or pain before it. 🙂


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